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family law with mental health

Dear friends, 


My beautiful daughter with schizoaffective conditon had a 4 month psychosis in 2018 culminating in ECT. This was her first presentation of mental illness. The psychosis was triggered by the wrong antidepressant and TMS. . She has some residual side effects from ECT such as memeory loss but otherwise it was amazing and it saved her life. During her psychosis she met many people in the numerous hospitals she was in. She formed a very short "friendship" with another patient while in a private hospital.  The friendship finished very quickly but when she relapsed and had to be admitted back to a public hospital this young man turned up again and started to dominate my daughter. He tried to stop her from having ECT, he told staff he was her partner and so on. As my daughter finished her 9th ECT treatment and she was recovering she discovered she was pregnant.

The "relationship" also broke up. My daughter worked very hard on her mental and physical health during her pregnancy. She had a beautiful babe and has been a good and loving mother. The so called father of the babe has seen my grandchild once. He has not contributed financially at all. He has now filed to take my daughter to court in regards to parenting arrangements. My daughter did not withhold access, this man just never tried to see his daughter. I am very upset about this as a notification was made to Child Protection to no avail about my daughters parenting. We have engaged lawyers but I am feeling very uncomfortable because I can just feel the bias whenever my daughter's diagnosis is mentioned. I am trawling the Family Court database to find jurisprudence on past cases where a parent has schizophrenia and I am feeling frightened. If anyone has been through anything like this I would appreciate guidance and advice, My daughter and granddaughter live at home with us and both have been thriving. My daughter has continued to folow the plan at all times prescribed by her pyschiatrists.

Thank you for listening


Re: family law with mental health

hello and hugs @Mon0497 Heart

@greenpea, @Appleblossom , @Darcy 


Re: family law with mental health

@Mon0497 @Shaz51  Hi Mon0497 and Shaz51. Mon0497 welcome to the forum Smiley Very Happy unfortunately I am of little help (I have given you post some reflection throughout the day). I just wanted to let you know that we are a caring bunch of formites here and will help when we can. Take care pea.x


Re: family law with mental health

Hello @Mon0497 

I am glad your daughter and grandchild are thriving in your home.  Early mothering is the most demanding time. 


Unfortunately, I have had lots of experiences 1) in my generation of being a child and being seriously neglected and made a ward of the State at 6

2) being asked to care for child by father and Protective Services, which also involved Supreme Court 3) now being denied access to my grandchild, by controlling and over protective other side.


In some ways the Family Court is better than when we had to deal with higher court.  It is not as expensive and the whole system is better geared and family sensitive .... though I am sure its not perfect and there are a lot of unhappy litigants...


My Best advice is to be fair, and accept that it is in child's interests to know both parents. His mental health may be just as much an issue as your daughter.  A lot depends on the individual.  Stigma with mental health is real and complex.  I grew up knowing both my parents had mental health problems.  No easy way around it. I am sure you are doing your best.  Continue to Take Care.

Smiley Happy







Re: family law with mental health

Hello @Mon0497 


It is an emotive time for you and I am sure your solicitor will advise you accordingly.


From what I understand is that the aim is to work out a parenting plan and if this is not able to be done so amicably the courts will make a parenting order and in doing so they will take into account the way in which each parent has complied with their parental obligations.


Sadly, in a known percentage, mental health issues do have the potential to become child protection issues, particularly in the case of untreated illness. Irrespective it may be wise to include contingency plans in the parenting plan as to the care of the child should relapse occur or should your daughter need hospitalisation.


You might find this interesting reading:


Re: family law with mental health

I am finding it interesting. Thank you @Darcy 


"Parental mental illness does not imply an automatic inability to meet a child's needs, however the impact on the whole family when a parent is living with a mental illness should be recognised."


from page 6 of previous document.

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